Former Gauteng Health senior and executive officials are among nine suspects expected today to appear before court as police pounce on those who allegedly fleeced the department of R221 million, between 2006 and 2010.
In a statement, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) said the group, who handed themselves over on Tuesday, was among private individuals and entities charged with fraud, corruption, money laundering and a pattern of racketeering activity perpetuated against the department.
“Eight of the nine have handed themselves over at SAPS Johannesburg Central for processing and will thereafter appear at Johannesburg Magistrate court. The ninth is said to be out of the country and the process of applying for his extradition is in progress,” said Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Nomthandazo Mbambo.
She said the development formed part of the second leg of investigation into allegations of gross irregularities committed at the Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH), between the period of 2006 and 2010.
The case was referred to the Hawks Serious Corruption Investigation unit by the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) in September 2011 for further criminal investigation.
Mbambo said the department awarded several contracts to an entity or juristic person which was initially meant for a period of two years, at a cost of R68 million (incl. VAT) per annum. “However, this amount was allegedly overspent to the tune of R221 million without any consequences to the individuals involved,” she said.
The main contract was the establishment of a “Project Management Unit (PMU)” which was first awarded on 4 July 2007 and was extended again on the 17 February 2009 for another three years without putting it out on an open tender and at a cost of approximately R273 million per annum.
Several senior and executive officials of the department allegedly received gratifications from the main service provider and subcontractors in the form of cash, loans, gifts and all-expense paid holiday, local and international trips. It is further alleged that none of the Gauteng Health Department officials ever declared such gifts.
The first leg of investigation was concluded in October 2020, when four senior officials from the Gauteng Health Department, Sybil NgcoboSybil Ngcobo, Mmakgosi Mosupi, Valdis Romaano and Obakeng Mookeletsi were charged for similar offences and appeared at the Palm Ridge Magistrates Court for corruption charges worth R1.2 billion tender. They will appear again on 28 January 2022.
National Hawks Head, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya, applauded the team for the arrest and said: “Although this investigation had challenges of its own, I am satisfied that our prioritisation has resulted in securing the attendance of the accused who shall also face the charge of pattern of racketeering activity which is in general terms organised crime.
“The investigation team and prosecutors are commended for the efforts invested in the matter since prioritisation.”
Source: South African Government News Agency